Supplier of fake Pandora charms sentenced to prison

26 June 2018

An Ellesmere Port man who sold counterfeit Pandora charms online has been sentenced to 12 months in prison.

Cheshire West and Chester Trading Standards brought the case against Tony McKeating after an investigation into the sale of counterfeit Pandora jewellery being sold on an online auction site.

Scrap metal dealer, Mr McKeating, was identified as part of Cheshire West & Chester Trading Standards E-Crime project.  The project aims to tackle counterfeit and unsafe goods being sold online via auction sites such as eBay, Gum Tree as well as Facebook and others.

45-year-old Mr McKeating of Arthur Avenue, Ellesmere Port was found guilty of one count of fraudulent trading between 23 October 2015 and 2 November 2016, along with one trade mark offence.

On 2 November 2016, Trading Standards and Cheshire Police officers executed an entry warrant at his address and recovered a large number of Pandora gift wrapping, including boxes and gift bags.  A total of 342 Pandora charms were also seized.

The calculated loss to Pandora if every charm advertised on the internet had been sold was in the region of £96,000.

In summing up the Judge commented on the compelling evidence that Mr McKeating was trading on the internet and seeking to source fake items from across the world.  Pandora stood to lose their reputation for each and every item sold fraudulently.  In this case there was a serious offence of dishonesty and taking advantage of the owner of the trade mark.

Taking account of Mr McKeating’s guilty plea before trial he was sentenced to 12 months for each offence to run concurrently, half of the time to be spent in custody and the remaining half on licence.  Mr McKeating was ordered to pay a £3000 contribution towards the costs of the prosecution.

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Karen Shore said: “Please think twice about supporting this kind of activity.  Buying counterfeit goods on-line may appear to be an attractive and cheap alternative but they are, by their very nature, inferior products and are often unsafe.

“We will take action against anyone found selling counterfeit products in our borough. Counterfeiting is an illegal activity which affects the livelihoods of legitimate and hardworking businesses.”

Counterfeit Pandora Charms - McKeating case
Counterfeit Pandora Charms - McKeating case

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